This year has been our most successful “in lieu of tips” donation collection ever: we have exceeded $5,000 in donations at the Corner Market this season. (And counting, by the way! If you’d like to contribute, we’ll be accepting donations until 12 noon on Christmas Eve.) With Cox Farms’ match, we’ve collected more than $10,000 to support local families in need! Yesterday we described our $5,000 donation to Our Daily Bread, to provide holiday gifts for 200 local kids whose families are struggling. Obviously, since we’re talking about $10,000, that’s only half the story…so here’s Update #2:
For the past two years, we have used all remaining funds (after going overboard with gifts for our sponsored Our Daily Bread families) to support one of our other favorite community organizations, Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) and their Manassas campus, SERVE. Specifically, we have purchased thousands of dollars in gift cards to ensure that their clients and shelter residents- particularly the children- received gifts for the holidays.
This year, when I contacted SERVE to discuss our plans, I learned about the “Re-Housing 50 Families in 100 Days” initiative they have undertaken for the holiday season, part of a statewide effort to end family homelessness. SERVE points out that “toys and clothes are quickly outgrown, but a home can provide a lifetime of safety and security.” (In addition, SERVE assured us that they have received enough gift cards through other holiday donations to ensure that all the children at the shelter will receive gifts.)
Indeed, when it was brought to our team, everyone agreed that helping homeless families to secure stable housing would be the best gift imaginable. SERVE provides two great options for supporting this important work, and we’re excited to be contributing to both this season. First, we are using our funds to assemble a “Welcome Home” basket for a family that is moving from a shelter into stable housing; these baskets include household basics that quickly add up, from bed linens to bath towels to plates. We will be donating the rest of our funds to support SERVE’s Re-Housing fund, with donations that will provide a couple families with the financial support to get them “home for the holidays” (typically provided in the form of first month’s rent and security deposits).
While this form of giving is perhaps less flashy and not quite as ‘warm-and-fuzzy’ as giving gifts to children at a shelter, we’re confident that the ultimate impact on our community will be deep and long-lasting for the families touched by our donation. We’re thrilled to be able to contribute to both NVFS/SERVE and Our Daily Bread in support of the important work these organizations do.
Cox Farms is blessed to have such generous customers and employees. Thank you for being part of this community of compassion. I hope you share my sense of awe and pride and gratitude regarding this incredible difference we’re making together I can’t think of a better way to end 2013!